Monday 27th October 2014: On a report from James out at the Murray Cauld that water conditions were right and fish were showing, all out to do more netting and radio-tagging. The first session was the most productive, with the fish that had accumulated over night and got five tagged. Afterwards, we had to wait around till more fish arrived and so got another three done, making thirty in all so far, the target being 50. Not that many fish around below the cauld, which is as it should be as all the Springers should be upstream by now – this week and next should be their peak spawning time, though these mild conditions may be rather puzzling for them. Also took scales from another couple of Sea-trout. Again, all the salmon very coloured, but some beautiful tartan patterns.
Tuesday 28th October: The Ettrick up, so no chance of more radio tagging. A meeting in the morning with the Norfolk Rivers Trust – our mutual interest is in Sea-trout, the waters off East Anglia being a key feeding area for both Tweed and local fish. Also got the first batch of the new water temperature data-loggers made up and ready to be put in – we know from past sampling that water temperatures here can hit the high 20s at times and want to keep a better check on this in the future. It is not just the effects on survival and growth (high temperatures can stunt growth of young salmonids) that are of interest, spawning should be at under 10C for maximum efficiency. In the afternoon writing up the report on the environmental monitoring we are doing for the proposed distillery on the Jed. James has now got some preliminary results from the radio-tracking at the new Ettrick fish pass, so the set-up is definitely working.